Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Oor Location

A hunner funnels bleezin', reekin',
Cóal an' ironstane charrin', smeekin';
Navvies, miners, keepers, fillers,
Puddlers, rollers, iron millers;
Reestit, reekit, raggit laddies,
Firemen, enginemen, an' paddies;
Boatmen, banksmen, rough and rattlin',
'Bout the wecht wi' colliers battlin',
Sweatin', swearin', fechtin' drinkin',
Change-house bells an' gill-stoups clinkin';
Police-ready men and willin'-
Aye at han' whan stoups are fillin',
Clerks, an' counter-loupers plenty,
Wi' trim moustache and whiskers dainty-
Chaps that winna staun at trifles,
Min' ye they can han'le rifles.
'Bout the wives in oor location,
An' the lassies' botheration,
Some are decent, some are dandies,
An' a gey wheen drucken randies,
Aye tae neebors' hooses sailin',
Greetin' bairns ahint them trailin',
Gaun for nouther bread nor butter,
Just tae drink an' rin the cutter.
Oh, the dreadfu' curse o' drinkin'!
Men are ill, but tae my thinkin',
Lukin' through the drucken fock,
There's a Jenny for ilk Jock.
Oh the dool an' desolation,
An' the havoc in the nation,
Wrocht by dirty, drucken wives!
Oh hoo mony bairnies' lives
Lost ilk year through their neglec';
Like a millstane roun' the neck
O' the strugglin', toilin' masses
Hing drucken wives an' wanton lassies.
Tae see sae mony unwed mithers
Is sure a shame that taps a' ithers.
An' noo I'm fairly set a-gaun,
On baith the whisky-shop and pawn;
I'll speak my min'-and whatfor no?
Frae whence cums misery, want, an' wo,
The ruin, crime, disgrace, an' shame,
That quenches a' the lichts o' hame?
Ye needna speer, the feck ot's drawn
Out o' the change-hoose an' the pawn.
Sin and death, as poets tell,
On ilk side the doors o' hell
Wait tae haurl mortals in;
Death gets a' that's catcht by sin:
There are doors whaur death an' sin
Draw their tens o' thoosan's in;
Thick and thrang we see them gaun,
First the dram-shop, then the pawn;
Owre a' kin's o' ruination,
Drink's the king in oor location.
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